Shanling MG100 Review featured image

Shanling MG100 Review

In this feature, Lynn reviews the Shanling MG100, which is an entry-level universal in-ear monitor equipped with a 10mm ceramic diaphragm dynamic driver. It is priced at $159.00 SRP.

Disclaimer: This sample was sent to us in exchange for our honest opinion. Headfonics is an independent website with no affiliate links or status. We thank Shanling for their support.

To learn more about Shanling products we previously discussed on Headfonics click here.

Note, that this article follows our latest scoring guidelines which you can read here.

Shanling MG100 Review featured image
Shanling MG100 Review
I found the Shanling MG100 to be a surprisingly good entry-level single dynamic driver IEM. Its competitive edge lies in the duality of its sound signature with those interchangeable filters.
Sound Quality
Comfort & Isolation
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Good build quality & fit
Filters provides two distinct signatures
Good detail retrieval and clarity
Shell is fingerprint-prone
Cable can be a bit ungainly
Award Score

The Shanling MG100 single dynamic driver universal IEM was launched in the final quarter of 2023 and retails for $159 SRP.

For those unaware, the Shanling MG series differs from the likes of the hybrid driver ME series IEMs with a pure focus on dynamic driver-only configurations.

The MG100 is Shanling’s most affordable model to date in their long-running MG Series of IEMs that stretches up to the MG600 and the flagship MG800 IEM which we have previously reviewed.

Shanling MG100 Tech Highlights
Copyright Shanling 2024

Tech Highlights

The Shanling MG100 uses a 10mm dynamic driver and HCCAW voice coil with a lightweight temperature-resistant ceramic diaphragm enclosed within a dual magnet design. 

Instead of the MG800’s titanium, the MG100 reverts to a 7000-series aluminum carved on a 5-axis CNC machine for the sound chamber.

The MG100 is rated for an impedance of 16Ω and sensitivity of 113+/-3 dB @1kHz making it an easy-to-drive IEM out of most sources, be it a dongle or a DAP.

Add in two filter choices in brass for a balanced/universal sound or stainless steel for a bassy engaging signature, and the MG100 has the additional benefit of being able to offer two distinct sound signatures.

Shanling MG100 design


One good thing I know about metal is that 6000-series and 7000-series aluminum are light and easy to work with. This means it is perfect for the housing on the MG100.

Using 5-axis CNC machining for precise shaping, the aluminum allows for consistency in manufacturing. You can also tailor the sound chambers acoustically, which is what Shanling has done in the smaller teardrop-shaped shell.

The MG100 build quality is top-notch with deep glossy black coloring, which, while fingerprint-prone, does look stunning in a subdued manner.

A single vent hole is hidden on top of the faceplate, and the precise fitting of the two “halves” allows for the MMCX connection point to fit into its slot without issue.

The screw-in filter choices also function without bother, and I switched between the brass and stainless steel easily. Mounting any of the four choices of tips was fairly easy, and secure due to the quality craftsmanship and a good lip on the nozzle.

Shanling MG100 comfort
Copyright Shanling 2024

Comfort & Isolation

Since the MG100 is small in size, the fit is very good and flush with my ear. The over-ear cable guide provided good support and was not too stiff, keeping the cable in place nicely. The light weight of the MG100 aided in being able to wear the unit for long periods.

Isolation was tip-dependent, but not as much as some I have had for review in the past. I normally go between a medium or large-sized tip depending upon the manufacturer but found the smaller medium-sized tips gave me the best isolation with the MG100.

Using the larger tips detracted from the isolating factor with the balanced, vocal, and bass silicon tips; but not the foam tips.

Shanling MG100 cable


The Shanling MG100’s stock cable is made of a 4-core monocrystalline copper in 18 strands, the MMCX connection cable is supple to lay, but a bit stiff.

I found it did tangle a bit and had a somewhat sticky tactility to it. The two included modular jacks are for 3.5mm single-end and 4.4mm balanced end operations, and I used both options while testing.

Shanling MG100 carry case

Packaging & Accessories

The Shanling MG100 comes in a rectangular shiny-sleeved box, replete with Chinese script and a glossy image of the unit on the front. Simplistic and artistic.

Inside the sleeve, you find the typical-to-me Shanling matte black paperboard with the Shanling logo. Lifting the cover, you find the IEMs safely tucked into a medium-soft foam insert, with the case (new design) on the top half.

Under the case, which houses a bag for the extra filters and a bag for the other jack; you find the hard foam insert, which carries the other nine sets of tips.

Ten sets of tips are included, with three each of vocal and bass (s, m, l); two sets of balanced (s, m), and one set of foam (m). Under the IEMs, you find the necessary manufacturing warranty and informational cards. Efficient packaging, which also protects the contents well.

The MG100 case deserves a special mention, too. Black pleather shaped into a medium-sized pouch is highlighted by a red pleather strap, which acts as the “cinch” to hold the opening flap in place when closed.

Many companies that use this type of arrangement have a loose-fitting strap. Not here, and the flap is helpful with excellent support so the pouch does not open accidentally.

There is sufficient room for the extra filters, another set of tips, and the other jack inside the pouch; making it one of the better setups I have seen of late. Efficient with excellent thought going into it.

Sound Impressions

All impressions were made on either the Shanling M6 Pro (4.4mm balanced) or Cayin N6ii (E01 motherboard, 3.5mm single-ended jack).


When I heard the older ME100, I quickly discovered that Shanling was taking the build and sound of their IEMs seriously. Since then, Shanling has developed many new IEMs, most at a higher price.

The MG100 I like to think hearkens back to the company’s roots: quality sound and build at an affordable price.

Understanding that tip and filter choice change the signature, sometimes dramatically; the MG100 comes across with two distinct signatures, changed a bit by tip choice (as expected).

I found the bass-oriented (stainless steel) filter to indeed enhance the MG100 bass amount. The thumping bass did bleed into the mids, but not without control. I enjoyed the enhanced low-end and bass ear tips as well.

The brass filter (balanced) added distinct textural notes to the music, with better definition and clarity, which was missing with the bass filter. The ear tip choice was the same (bass tips), which made the change a bit more remarkable to me.


Filter choice made a difference here, with the stainless steel filter adding good thump in the MG100 sub-bass region, extending the delay to the point where it carried over into the midrange; but added warmth. But this did not cover the mids to the point where the bass was muddy.

The attack played into this, with speed deciphering the notes, making the slower decay more prominent than it seemed to be.

This was a good indication that the MG100 bass could be enhanced, with better texture, without sacrificing much in terms of detail or vocal presence. I enjoyed the added texture and warmth to the notes wrought from the bass filter, even if it was not as “clean” as the brass filter.

The MG100 bass using the brass filter provided more sub-bass (as opposed to overall bass) but with better control. Attack and decay rode the line of an even texture, promoting evenness to the tonality in the lower regions with good weight.

That succinctness did lose a bit of the warmth coming through but with much better detail. Note thickness did not suffer as much as I thought initially, which to me helped keep the bass qualities prevalent but not overwhelming in the signature.

Shanling MG100 filters


This is where the major difference was to me in the two filters, even if the bass filter was oriented towards the lower region.

Using the brass filter, the MG100 midrange came across as clean, clear, and crisp; without becoming dry or analytical. Note thickness was still prevalent, but tight.

I would describe it as not restrained but rather quite controlled; presenting good detail retrieval and clarity. Vocal pieces shined here to me, allowing a natural sound to emanate overall.

The stainless filter still provided a good response, but with the overshadowing of the bass texture, did not come across as clean and crisp. There also seemed to be a slight push-up in the 7kHz region, trying to compensate for that lack of clarity.

Cymbal crashes and hits sounded less than realistic sometimes, detracting from the overall warmth of the filter, which hindered it a bit. I still enjoyed the music but realized that the bass filter was meant to add to that lower region first and foremost.


There is no doubt that the MG100 brass filter added complexity to the upper region, which was missing, or rather tamed; in the bass filter. Good extension without becoming strident allowed for treble notes to become additive, instead of a part simply there to occupy space.

Sometimes enhanced treble regions take away more than they give to the signature, but not here. The treble tuning of the brass filter was spot on, highlighting the textural aspect, which defines clarity and detail retrieval. I was thoroughly impressed with the tuning here.

On the other hand, the bass filter wasn’t all that bad, but when compared side-by-side to the brass filter;  lost out in clarity and definition.

Again, the emphasis was on the lower region, without hurting the upper end. Just like the mids with this filter, there was a lack of distinct character to the notes, which took away from overall listening pleasure.

But, if you forget about what the filter does not do well, you appreciate what it does well and that is to enhance the MG100 bass qualities for those who like 11 to their bass, instead of 10.


The MG100 soundstage was a bit wider and taller with the brass filter, but not by much. The better placing of the instruments was had as a result, with layering more distinct as well.

The depth of both MG100 filter choices allowed for good spatial awareness of the instruments, and never did the signature become squished or flat feeling.

Placing instruments in the left/right aspects was impressive, with good definition to the point where I could discern depth on the stage where the instruments lay. This aspect was better with the brass filter (to be expected a bit), allowing easy definition in the placing of instruments on the stage.

Both filters were quite good concerning soundstage and imaging, but the bass filter was not the best choice for me.

Click on page 2 below for my recommended pairings and selected comparisons.

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